Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) signals Congressional green light for Alaska Refuge drilling!
From ABC News “This Week” interview with NY Senator Charles Schumer 12-31-00:
[Top of show:]
SAM DONALDSON, ABCNEWS What do the president-elect’s Cabinet choices reveal about his plans to govern? …
ANNOUNCER That’s This Week. Now, from Washington, Sam Donaldson.
JOHN YANG (VO) For interior secretary, Gale Norton, a former Colorado attorney general who is a protege of James Watt, Ronald Reagan’s first Interior Secretary. She immediately took a stand sure to draw fire from environmentalists.
GALE NORTON, INTERIOR SECRETARY-DESIGNATE We should explore opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil and gas exploration.
[Later interview with Schumer:]
SAM DONALDSON All right. Senator Schumer, let’s go on to another appointee or someone that the president-elect has nominated, Gale Norton to be the secretary of interior. A spokesman for the Sierra Club said this the other day, ‘our view is this is James Watt in a skirt,’ because she once worked for James Watt, a former secretary of interior. What do you think?
CHARLES SCHUMER Well, I don’t know if I’d go that far at this point. You know, the question here is exploration of oil. That’s a big position for the secretary of interior. We’re going to need more oil and natural gas in America. We—we’re on the verge of an energy crisis. And I think this is the place where the president can compromise. We Democrats have adver—advocated real conservation measures, such as making SUVs and minivans meet the cafe standards.
Republicans have said more exploration. This is a place where you can get sort of environmentally sensitive new exploration, as well as conservation, and deal with our energy crisis. It’s a great area for President Bush to work on a bipartisan basis and, in fact, Senator Susan Collins, a Republican in—of Maine, and I are asking him to support a proposal we have, for a quick, bipartisan energy commission which could deal with these kind of issues.
ABC News “This Week” 12-31-00